Centaurea Macrocephala and Halictid Bee

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Amazing, flower and bee don’t you think? I took this picture last July on a walk through the Annex neighbourhood in Toronto. This front yard garden was filled with the yellow thistle-like plant, Centaurea macrocephala and covered in flittering, shiny green bees — they were completely intoxicated by the flowers! I stood watching them in awe for several minutes.

Back at home I did some research and it turns out that the green bees are members of The Family Halictidae of which there are more than 2000 species. I haven’t got a clue which one this is.

This situation with the flowers and bees illustrates one of the things I love about gardening. In general, my love of gardening has lead me to be more observant of the gardens and plants I pass by in my day-to-day world. And this has lead me to an expanding interest in critters that live in the garden, like this bee. I had never noticed green bees before and probably never would have if not for my interest in the plants. Discovering them via the flowers motivated me to find out what they were and learn more beyond pretty, green bee.

Gardening makes me smarter. I is learning stuff.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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2 thoughts on “Centaurea Macrocephala and Halictid Bee

  1. In both entomology and botany courses, it was theorized that neither insects nor flowering plants would be as diverse as they are today without the other, fossil records indicate massive increases in diversity and abundance of both groups at/around the same time. Which is pretty darn neat, I think. :)

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